The present day St Mary's Church dates back to the 13th century, although it is speculated that there might have existed an earlier church of St Mary. The building is constructed from stone, with a slate roof. Two original windows remain in the south wall of the building, the remainder are 19th century replacements.

The tower located to the north east of the building dates from the middle of the 14th century, and currently contains a ring of eight bells. The original bells were installed in 1763, two were added in 1765 and a further two added in 1897.

The font at the church dates back to late Norman times. A local legend suggests that the future King Henry VII, born at nearby Pembroke Castle was baptised at the church, however no evidence of this event exists.

The modern entrance to the church is through a porch on the west side of the building, erected in 1926, accessed from the corner of Northgate Street and Main Street. The historical entrance was through the south side of the church, this doorway now leads to the choir vestry.

The church had fallen into a state of disrepair towards the end of the 19th century and closed in 1875. Four years later, major renovation work was carried out before the church reopened. The current pulpit was donated to the church a year later.

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Founded: 13th century
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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Kirkjubøargarður

Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.